Sunday, September 28, 2008


On Friday's Basham and Cornell Show, the RNC Communications Director Danny Diaz hung up on me for accidentally using the word "Nazi" when I was asking him a question about the abortion issue. I had said, "I am against abortion, and I don't know any Democrats who are pro-abortion. But if you outlaw abortion, how do you enforce the law? Do you throw young mothers in jail? Do you assign a police officer to stand over each woman, each rape victim for the entire 9 months - like a Nazi state...."

I have to go back and listen to the transcipt, but he hung up on me. He said, "Okay, you used the word "Nazi" so I'm hanging up on you." Now of course I realize the word 'Nazi' is overused and verboten in political discourse, but why couldn't he have answered my question and really heard the question? I didn't use the word in the context he was thinking. I was honestly trying to get an answer to this serious dilemma. The Sarah Palin tribe wants to take away a woman's right to choose, but even if you're a Christian, I think they are wrong. There's a reason the womb is encased in the separate "body" of each individual woman. The choice must be up to her; we are each given free will and this is a decision between the woman and God, if she is religious (at least in the first trimester.) I just don't see how you enforce such a crime without dire consequences.

Check this out:
The Great Schlep!

America has become a battleground of opposing forces: the optimist, the atheist, the fundamentalist and of course, the idiot – that person inside all of us (or just that guy in the White House) who chooses to remain unconscious. - Lydia

More comedy bits below, but first this BREAKING NEWS ITEM!

Historic $700 billion bailout deal reached
Questions remain as Congress votes on legislation this week

By Mark Silva | Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - In the short run, congressional leaders have achieved their goal of producing an agreement Sunday on a federal bailout of banks and other financial institutions holding bad mortgage debts before the world's stock markets reopened.

But in the long run, the scope and still-unknown effects of the greatest government intervention in the financial markets since the Great Depression – and the remaining underlying instability of the nation's economy -- will impose a new political challenge for the next president and Congress elected in November. The situation already has reshaped the election campaign debate.

Congressional leaders face another immediate and uncertain challenge this week – with the House expected to vote on the plan as soon as Monday, and the Senate as soon as Wednesday – in corralling enough votes to both pass it and present the controversial two-stage bailout as a bipartisan response to a national crisis.

While resistant House Republican leaders have agreed to it, many rank and file members still are balking at the unprecedented bailout of the nation's financial institutions, piling as much as $700 billion of new federal debt on the nation's taxpayers.

Bailout Deal Reached

COMIC RELIEF by Lydia Cornell (some bits I've been working on for a new show called "Pain is Inevitable, Sex Optional

We had a neighborhood poker game going on the other night and this obnoxious loudmouth kept spitting and shoving and winning and bragging about it. He had no humility. I have to admit, he was pretty good for an six-year-old.

When my son was five, he went through a modesty phase. He wouldn’t change his clothes even in front of me. He asked me one day, “I hope the doctor didn’t see me naked when I was born!”

Why do I have to adapt my language to suit the men in my life? I have to speak in a masculine way to my sons like this: “That’s sweatshirt's a nice color. Cool.” I am forbidden to say, “That’s a pretty color..." They can’t tolerate even the most subtle feminine words or a less than macho lilt to my voice. When did it happen — when did being a woman become so uncool, so passé? Everything has to be slanted toward the male voice. It p---s me off! And my sons won’t go to a single movie with a female protagonist, while I have to suffer through raunchy, sophomoric, loud, explosive testosterone-fueled "guy" movies until I want to scream! Why are the deep thoughts of low-lifes, the only movies they make anymore?
(Photo of the boys when they were 7 and 8)

Frankly I’d be happy if he just pretended to listen to me; if he would just nod his head and say “Uh-huh, uh-huh” that would be fine – because a woman’s primary need is to be heard.

Is it wrong to dream about other men when you’re married? I had a dream the other night that I was up in a mountain cabin having cocktails with Errol Flynn when suddenly the door blew open and Sean Connery came riding in on a yak. I think it was a yak, but you know how in dreams it could have been a mule or an elk? I had a baby on my lap and I kept thinking, “he’s a cute baby, but I wish he’d lose that phony Italian accent. I looked at his face and it was Johnny Depp, trying to sell me a hot dog. Is this a sexual dream? I can’t figure it out.

I went to a kosher butcher whose cuts of meat were so symmetrical it made me wonder if he cuts hair too. “Give me a pound of briscuit and take a couple of inches off the top.” It’s obvious that Jane Wyman and Mo of the Three Stooges got their hair cut at the butcher.

My husband is still angry that we didn’t use his dog as the ring-bearer in our wedding. And now that Sammi has died, he is taking it out on me.

Maybe my husband’s good for me; he dulls my mind. Maybe the blankness, the lack of engaged conversation is healthy. We speak to each other in one-syllables. I do wish he’d take that class in pretending to listen.

Why aren’t cars made out of fur? There’d be fewer fatal car crashes.

I wish I could figure out a way to make money out of just piddling around the house.

I decided not to surround myself with critical people. Now I have no friends.

I do have to badger my husband into mental health. I’m always chasing him around the house with a psychology book and he’s always running away and hiding when I want to talk. And my kids make me play Harry Potter – I have to wear a long black robe and ride a broomstick around the house. To get out of it, I hide from them in the closet. One time I ducked into the closet and found my husband in there hiding from me!

Now I realize I am deliberately not letting myself be more evolved in this relationship because there’s too much comedy material I’m getting out of it.

My husband is a Republican who thinks all Democrats are vegetarians, but that’s perfect because I think you’re supposed to be married to the person who annoys you the most! That’s why the Arabs and Israelis are next door to each other, they just don’t get it yet. The most spiritual growth happens with your enemies. So I’m in a really good position. Although I have never finished a sentence in this marriage. I am always being interrupted!



Friday, September 26, 2008


I have been doing some soul-searching and I think I'm going to reach out and explain why we are so frustrated with the current administration, why we don't trust McCain, and why we think Sarah Palin is a frightening, backward choice for America. I also want to explain to fundamentalist Christians what a true "Red-letter" or Sermon on the Mount Christian thinks, and why liberals (such as Paul Newman) act more in in line with the values of the Great Peacemaker — whether they know it or not. Fundamentalist Christians are focused on the "letter not the spirit (love) of Christ's law." The pharisees did the same thing.

Strongest and best Obama ever!!

While declining to land any personal blows on John McCain, Barack Obama remained cool, confident and dare I say it? Presidential in tonight’s debate to John McCain’s Grampy McCrankypants routine. It appears that the pundits and flash polls agree, as the majority of those polls scored it for Obama, including Frank “The Hair” Luntz’s dial polls on *gasp* FOX News (maybe that’s why they don’t have them up on the website).

But there was one moment where Obama was direct and on the offense, without the petulance of McCain, as he confronted McCain’s rote recitation of being smart but unpopular by supporting the surge. From the flash polls I’ve seen, this moment resonated deeply with those undecided voters, especially since McCain would not even look Obama in the eye.

OBAMA: But understand, that was a tactic designed to contain the damage of the previous four years of mismanagment of this war. And so John likes…John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge, the war started in 2003. And at the time, when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were, you were wrong. You said that we would be greeted as liberators, you were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni and you were wrong. And so the question is the judgment of whether or not…

MCCAIN: Senator Obama…Senator Obama…Senator Obama doesn’t….

OBAMA: …whether or not the question is who is best equipped as the next president to make good decisions about how we use our military, how we make sure that we are prepared and ready for the next conflict and I think we can take a look at our judgment.

Live-Blogging Ole Miss (from Andrew Sullivan's blog:)

27 Sep 2008 12:14 am

Unless it happened when I glanced away, up until this moment, 77 minutes into the 90-minute debates, John McCain has not once looked at Obama -- while listening to him, while addressing him, while disagreeing with him, while finding moments of accord.
This is distinctly strange -- if anyone else notices. Obama is acting as if this is a conversation; McCain, as if he cannot acknowledge the other party in the discussion.

Rod Dreher from BeliefNet:
I think Obama has to be judged the winner. Nobody's mind will be changed by this debate, but Obama seemed loose and confident and not intimidate by McCain. McCain seemed growly and tense, though more focused than usual. Because McCain didn't beat Obama, and because Obama is ahead right now, Obama wins a narrow victory.

No memorable moments. Fascinating body language. No major gaffes by either candidates. No major surprises...A good debate for both men...Thresholds are artificial, but both candidates seemed to meet them - although Obama's threshold was arguably higher. The press will probably conclude that McCain did not fundamentally change impressions tonight. And that Obama held his own.

9:12 Obama just put McCain in his place by saying "Even Henry Kissinger says we should sit down with Iran without pre-conditions. Then Obama hit McCain hard and said, "Senator McCain won't even sit down with Spain! And Spain is a NATO ally." - Lydia

10.02 pm. Obama just pwned McCain on using the troops as an emotional weapon. And then he has kept intense focus on Afghanistan. All McCain can do is suggest that Petraeus opposes Obama which is untrue, and to say how far he's traveled around the world.

9.53 pm. McCain concedes the failure in Afghanistan. Obama seems very authoritative. He seems to be passing the presidential. His exchange on Pakistan seemed to me to be a real turning point. He basically outed McCains distortion of his position and yet managed to seem more aggressive in foreign policy than the Republican. He's no Dukakis. He's no Kerry. He's winning on the issue of national defense. That's new. And McCain keeps gong back to claims that he knows more. And goes back to the Reagan era. This is the first exchange on national security in a presidential debate where the Democrat out-hawked, in a responsible way, the Republican.

9:37 pm. Finally Obama manages to pin the massive spending increases in spending on the Republicans. About time!

"John characterizes me as "wildly liberal" -- mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's policies."

9.28 pm. What strikes me is McCain's insistence on pork. What strikes me about Obama is his forcefulness. He doesn't sound academic or pointy-headed. He seems decisive and executive. McCain seems more of a debater.

26 Sep 2008 09:10 pm
9.15 pm. Does McCain really believe that earmarks are the only problem with government spending? They're bad, but they are not anything like the real problem.

9.11 pm. McCain is still defending his silly proposal to fire Chris Cox. Obama keeps bringing it back to ordinary Americans and the recent past. He keeps trying to return to the theme of the Republican responsibility.

9.08 pm. McCain seemed a little less engaged and forceful. And the reference to the Republicans in Congress seemed a little insidery to me.

9.06 pm. Obama's opening statement struck me as more forceful and energetic, and less academic than usual.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


President Barack Obama says he sees no need to cancel the debate. "Presidents have to deal with more than one thing at a time. " Good Point. I think Obama is wonderfully soothing, calm and presidential. And he can multi-task! He makes me feel safe.

John McCain, panicked, wants to cancel the debate. But I think this is a political ploy to show he is "a uniter, not a divider!" But going forward with the debate would be a much better idea. I wish the debate was about the economy instead of foreign affairs. This way, Obama could hit home the fact that this financial crisis is a Republican-made catastrophe. McCain resembles a nervous ninny. He does not make me feel safe.


Did everyone see this email? I don't know who wrote it, but it is priceless:

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'

Grow up in Alaska shooting and eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress — as McCain did — and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

And anyway, who said killing defenseless animals is cool?

Sep 8, 2008 ... With a disdain for science that alarms wildlife experts, Sarah Palin continues to promote Alaska's policy to gun down wolves from planes. - Similar pages

Thought of the Day

Tell everyone you know: "My happiness depends on me, so you're off
the hook." And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're

Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you
will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel—and
then, you'll love them all.

Because the only reason you don't love them, is because you're using
them as your excuse to not feel good.

Excerpted from a workshop in Asheville, NC
All Is Well

Monday, September 22, 2008


I really feel we are in good hands with Paulson. I know this sounds like an about-face from yesterday, when I was outraged about the Section 8 clause in the bailout bill, but now I've researched everything there is to know about Paulson and I absolutely believe that he has our best interests at heart. He is a Rockefeller Republican, not a neocon and there are other reasons I feel he will be a good steward of our money. I also believe he will not leave foreclosed upon homeowners out in the cold. Before this crisis, he helped to create the Hope Now Alliance to help struggling homeowners during the subprime mortgage financial crisis.*

Notable among the members of Bush's cabinet, Paulson has said he is a strong believer in the effect of human activity on global warming and advocates immediate action to decrease this effect.*

As an environmental leader and philanthropist, Paulson while at Goldman Sachs, oversaw the corporate donation of 680,000 forested acres on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego, which led to criticisms from Goldman shareholder groups. He further donated US$100 million of assets from his wealth to conservancy causes. He pledged his entire fortune for the same purpose at death. He has also been considered someone who can influence world and business leaders to think beyond the bottom line. * From Wikipedia

Democrats Work With Paulson on Rescue; Some Republicans Object
By James Rowley and Alison Vekshin

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Members of President George W. Bush's own party are voicing their opposition to his financial rescue plan even as Democratic leaders narrow their differences with the administration.

Congressional leaders said the $700 billion measure is needed to calm market turmoil and they hope to complete talks and pass the measure as soon as this week. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson agreed with Democratic demands that Congress can create an oversight structure, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.

"Let us insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the kingdom of God (which is within us)" - Mother Teresa

"We are talking very aggressively with other countries" … the US Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, on the American ABC's This Week program. Photo: AFP

GOP takes brunt of blame on economy, poll says
By nearly a two-to-one ratio, Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the financial crisis that has swept across the country the past few weeks, a new national poll suggests.

Here is Section 8 of the new "700 billion dollar Republican bailout bill," which virtually rewards the crooks for taking our money, and takes money away from the American whose home was foreclosed on — with no room to negotiate! This should stop your heart:
Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

READ SECTION 8 AGAIN. Why is this bill non-reviewable? Certain people are saying that whoever wrote this clause should have his citizenship revoked. This is positively un-American. Think about it and post your answers here in the comment section.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

GOOD NEWS: Compostable, Biodegradable PLASTIC CUPS MADE OF CORN!
I invite readers to please leave comments on any silver linings you see in our money crisis, the 700 billion dollar bailout being proposed by Paulson, and how we can fix our economy.I see it already happening. Yesterday my son bought a strawberry smoothie from Urth Cafe. It came in a cup that was made entirely from a natural renewable material derived from corn! And it looks and feels just like plastic. It is 100% compostable. I have long thought we should invent "plastic" bottles made of celery fiber. I think innovation and spiritual progressive thought is going to triumph over the dark forces of greed, fossil fuel drilling and regressive thought. This election should be a landslide...

U.S. House Judiciary Chair Announces Hearings, Requests DoJ Investigation Into Recent Reports of GOP 'Vote Caging' Schemes...

The U.S. House Judiciary chairman has sent a letter to John McCain demanding he immediately cease recent voter suppression efforts such as the reported GOP scheme to use home foreclosure lists to challenge voters in Michigan, and apparent "caging" letters akin to those sent to Democratic voters in Florida. He has also called on AG Mukasey to begin an investigation into these activities and has announced hearings on the matters in a statement released today...

“Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius.”
Isaac Disraeli
EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS: Greener, Cleaner Crude Oil From Algae

A New Zealand company says it has produced the first samples of green crude oil at a commercially competitive price, made from wild algae grown on human sewage. The biodiesel is extracted from the algae's natural oils and produces 90 percent less emissions than regular diesel.

Focus on the good, and the good will be your reality. The more you fill your heart with love, the more love surrounds you, as a coat of armor. You will become invincible.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Three important articles:

1. McCain May Not Understand the Fundamentals, But His Lobbyist Advisors Do. A McCain Admin Would Drill Our Economy into the Ground

In the second in our two-part series about the Republican ticket's economic past, we saved the best for last. As we mentioned in our first piece, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin doesn't have a long record, but it's one that would make any economist (or working, middle class American for that matter) shake their head in disbelief.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, on the other hand, has a long, rich history of either screwing up the economy or just ignoring it, hoping the problem will go away or be handled by his lobbyist friends and advisors.

We could start as early as the late 1980s with the embarrassing Keating Five incident, in which McCain used his influence in Congress to help out his friend and donor, Charles Keating, chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. Keating spent five years in jail on corruption charges stemming from his influencing McCain and four other senators. McCain brushes off questions about the incident, saying he's paid for it and learned his lesson. It seems the lesson was "let other people handle economics. It's not that big of a deal anyhow."

2. Mad as hell - taxpayers lash out over bailout.
President Bush petitioned Congress for the authority to spend up to $700 billion to to bail out a financial industry on the verge of collapse and said the high price tag was not only justified, but essential. Some taxpayers disagree. "NO NO NO. Not just no, but H*** NO," writes Richard, a reader from Anchorage, Alaska. "It's our money! Let these companies die," added Claudio from Plainville, Connecticut.

We asked you what you had to say about the bailout, and we heard you loud and clear: 'No way!' by David Goldman, staff writer.... article below, but first read this:

3. Greed in the Economy: It’s the Morality, Sinner by Reverend Jim Wallis

IT'S THE MORALITY, SINNER by Reverend Jim Wallis

Everyone has heard the famous phrase, attributed to James Carville, which supposedly won the presidential election of 1992 for Bill Clinton: “It’s the economy, stupid!” It’s still good advice, especially as the shocking collapse of the financial markets has turned the election campaign into a much more serious and somber discussion than lipstick on pigs.

But the issue is deeper than just the economy. I would now rephrase Carville and say, “It’s the morality, sinner!” And I would direct it to the people who have been making the decisions about the direction of this economy from Wall Street to Washington. Here is the morality play:

Aggressive lending to potential home-buyers using subprime and adjustable rate mortgages led to “mortgage-backed securities” being sold to investors at high returns. As housing prices dropped and interest rates rose, homeowners got caught, fell behind on payments, and millions of foreclosures followed. That resulted in the mortgage-backed assets losing value with banks unable to sell the securities. So the subprime lenders began to fail. Asset declines then spread to investment banks. We have now seen the sale of Bear Stearns brokered by the government, and last week, the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as mortgage defaults threatened them. Then Lehman Brothers fell into bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was sold. Now another bailout, AIG, the largest insurance company in the country — whose potential demise threatened the whole financial system even further.

During the height of the lending frenzy, many people got very rich, as they did during the previous technology bubble. Now with the collapse, experts say the most likely result will be further tightening of credit and lending standards for consumers and businesses. Home, retail, and business loans will become more expensive and harder to secure. And the consequences of that will spread to most of America.

In the accounts and interpretation of these events, a word is slowly entering the discussion and analysis — greed. It’s an old concept, and one with deep moral roots. Even venerable establishment economists such as Robert Samuelson now say, “Greed and fear, which routinely govern financial markets, have seeded this global crisis … short-term rewards blinded them to the long-term dangers.”

The people on top of the American economy get rich whether they make good or bad decisions, while workers and consumers are the ones who suffer from all their bad ones. Prudent investment has been replaced with reckless financial gambling in what some have called a “casino economy.” And the benefits accruing to top CEOs and financial managers, especially as compared to the declining wages of average workers, has become one of the greatest moral travesties of our time.
In the search for blame, some say greed and some say deregulation. Both are right. The financial collapse of Wall Street is the fiscal consequence of the economic philosophy that now governs America — that markets are always good and government is always bad. But it is also the moral consequence of greed, where private profit prevails over the concept of the common good. The American economy is often rooted in unbridled materialism, a culture that continues to extol greed, a false standard of values that puts short-term profits over societal health, and a distorted calculus that measures human worth by personal income instead of character, integrity, and generosity.
Americans have a love-hate relationship with government and business. The climate seems to shift between an “anything goes” mentality and stricter government regulation. The excesses of the 1920s, leading to the Great Depression, were followed by the reforms of Franklin Roosevelt.
The entrepreneurial spirit and social innovation fostered by a market economy has benefited many and should not be overly encumbered by unnecessary or stifling regulations. But left to its own devices and human weakness (let’s call it sin), the market too often disintegrates into greed and corruption, as the Wall Street financial collapse painfully reveals. Capitalism needs rules, or it easily becomes destructive. A healthy, balanced relationship between free enterprise, on the one hand, and public accountability and regulation, on the other, is morally and practically essential. Government should encourage innovation, but it must also limit greed.

The behavior of too many on Wall Street is a violation of biblical ethics. The teachings of Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths condemn the greed, selfishness, and cheating that have been revealed in corporate behavior over decades now, and denounce their callous mistreatment of employees. Read your Bible.

The strongest critics of the Wall Street gamblers call it putting self-interest above the public interest; the Bible would call it a sin. I don’t know about the church- or synagogue-going habits of the nation’s top financial managers, but if they do attend services, I wonder if they ever hear a religious word about the practices of arranging huge personal bonuses and escape hatches while destroying the lives of people who work for them. We now need wisdom from the economists, prudence from the business community, and renewal courses on the common good from the nation’s religious leaders. It’s time for the pulpit to speak — for the religious community to bring the Word of God to bear on the moral issues of the American economy. The Bible speaks of such things from beginning to end, so why not our pastors and preachers?


NEW YORK ( -- "NO NO NO. Not just no, but HELL NO," writes Richard, a reader from Anchorage, Alaska.

"This is robbery pure and simple," Anna from Denver posted on's TalkBack blog this weekend.

"It's our money! Let these companies die," added Claudio from Plainville, Conn.

After President Bush petitioned Congress Saturday for the authority to spend up to $700 billion to to bail out a financial industry on the verge of collapse, he said the high price tag was not only justified, but essential.

"It is a big package because it's a big problem," Bush told reporters at a news conference. "The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of the package."

But when asked what they thought of the government's proposal, most readers gave an overwhelming thumbs down.

"I'm tired of rewarding institutions and people for the bad decisions they have made," said Dean from Madison, Wis. "Sure, it will hurt tax payers if/when some of these institutions fail, but perhaps we need to let that happen. We do not need more big government involved in our lives. Enough is enough."

Don't hand me the tab
Readers focused most of their indignation on having to foot the bill for irresponsible lenders and borrowers.

"Companies, like individuals, should be held responsible for their decisions," wrote Jorge from El Paso, Texas. "This buyout does not address the other problems in the pipeline such as personal credit default and market slowdowns in most industries. No new jobs will be created."

Paul from Portsmouth, N.H., said banks are getting the soft treatment when taxpayers are suffering.

"It is time for the financial institutions of this country to be called to the mat. We should be expecting and demanding responsible and ethical business practice, not rewarding it at the expense of taxpayers."

And John from Springfield, Va., said the government action actually hurts the people it is intended to help.

"The government does not have $700 billion dollars. WE have $700 billion, and it is being taken from us. If this is passed then the next administration and the next will be extracting this one from the people who are supposedly being protected by this bailout."

Where's my bailout?
Other readers wanted to know why the government didn't spend the $700 billion investment on the majority of responsible Americans who are suffering because of the bad bets of the few.

"Why not take the billions and ... make funds available to home owners stuck in the loans these idiots created, marketed and sold," asked Don from Coarsegold, Calif. "It will put the money where it should be with the little guy who made a mistake, instead of the big guy who created the problem."

Jordan from Charlestown, Ind., asked why different rules applied to big banks and ordinary investors.

"Once I invested in something and lost money. Maybe I could just change the rules of investing so that my loss turns into a gain? Oh, I forgot only banks can do that!"

Vote these jerks out
Some readers said it was time for the politicians who support the bailout to get the heave-ho come November.

"I will be watching to see which of our representatives vote for this bailout," said R. Kidd in Troy, N.C. "Let the American people see how many we can fire come election time."

And many readers, including Danny from Texas said we should stop typing and start dialing the lawmakers who are prepared to give the OK to the bailout.

"Call your Congressman. Stop blogging, posting comments, and call your congressman. This is the patriotic thing to do. Let them hear your opinion, show them this is still America and that you will not stand for this!!"

A necessary sacrifice
But not all readers agreed. Some thought the bailout was an unfortunate but necessary move to rescue our financial system from collapse.

For instance, Bill from St. Louis said he changed his mind about the bailout when he realized the consequences of doing nothing.

"I was opposed to the bailout at first, but realized that the scope of this thing is global and so massive that the entire global economy could collapse if nothing was done. ...The priority has to be resolving the present crisis of confidence in our economy. Remember, if Wall Street collapses, Main Street will go with it."

Andy from Chicago said the cost to the taxpayer will not be what the headline number makes it seem.

"This money is not a handout to companies. It's simply giving banks and mortgage companies loans, since the banking system itself is too unstable to raise this kind of capital. And no, the government cannot just use the $700 billion to pay back all the citizens that will be hurt by this. If the companies like AIG fail, the cost will be far far greater than $700 billion. Wake up!!"

And Surfta from Brooklyn, N.Y., says the government action is really not a bailout at all.

"It's NOT a bailout. The government is not handing out cash, they actually stand to make a great deal of money out of this, which will trickle down to YOU. First priority should be to try to control and fix the problem, then regulate sufficiently to make sure this NEVER happens again."

First Published: September 21, 2008: 2:07 PM EDT

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BEYOND LIES: Here's Why The Polls Are So Damn Close

"When you keep your heart on the spiritual values of life —— love, charity, truth, empathy, generosity, forgiveness — you really know what's important. My family could live anywhere and still be happy because we finally have our values in the right place: love, friendships, family, dogs, cats, dragons, birds, sheep... okay all pets!”

THE FACES OF RIGHT-WING HATE: Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, Laura Ingraham: Poisoning Democracy with Vitriolic Hate

Bob Cesca: Enough! Here's Why The Polls Are So Damn Close

Could it be that the lies and blind-patriotism of the far-right propagandists are painting an historic, brilliant, accomplished, presidential candidate as some kind of Bin Laden meets Farrakhan chimera? 24 hours a day?

I don't know if you've dared to listen to far-right talk radio lately, but I can assure you that they're not ignoring Senator Obama -- or his family. Put it this way: if you only got your news and opinions from talk radio, you'd probably believe that Senator Obama is some kind of foreign-born baby-killing Manchurian Candidate terrorist -- if not a sexist uppity black man who, if he loses in November, will incite race riots in every city.

Alleged sex-tourist Rush Limbaugh, whose show is carried in almost every American city, is routinely accusing Senator Obama of infanticide and referring to him as a "little black man-child," clearly stopping short of blurting out the name "Sambo," thus indicating that the drugs seem to have left intact a shred of discretion in Limbaugh's otherwise melty cheese brain.

Why are the polls so close? Not only do around 25 percent of Americans watch FOX News Channel on a regular basis, but, from coast to coast, there are more than a thousand far-right talk radio stations occupied by shows that make Morning Joe sound like an Olbermann Special Comment. And 17 percent of Americans are glued to it at work and in their cars. Talkers like Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Bill Bennett and Glenn Beck broadcast on your public air around the clock. Non-stop. Unrelenting. Only interrupted by Accu-weather and traffic. Free to anyone with an AM radio.

Here's the complete article from Huffington Post:
Today's edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC was especially ridiculous. And Pat Buchanan wasn't even there, which meant that everyone else had to overcompensate to make up for the conspicuous absence of awful.

Back story: Senator Obama released a two-minute commercial about the economic crisis -- also known as "the worst financial crisis in a century," according Alan Greenspan and Mort Zuckerman. It's a smart, effective ad that serves two purposes: it outlines what Obama plans to do about the crisis, and it continues to hammer home Senator Obama as a tough yet presidential would-be chief executive and steward of the economy.

Yet despite the seriousness of this crisis, Joe Scarborough (along with Wee Willie Geist and Salon's Joan Walsh, oddly enough) mocked the ad for its lack of soundbytes and its abundance of specifics.

Lack. Of soundbytes.

Now there's an argument to be made in favor of short, pithy framing in politics, but this isn't a short, pithy crisis. It's a crisis that's nailing ordinary Americans quite literally in their own back yards. It's entirely symptomatic of 30 years of Republican deregulation and Reaganomics. 30 years of free market wingnut crapola culminating in something close to the Great Depression, with Senator McCain quoting Herbert Hoover dozens of times this year alone -- and, what? A two minute commercial is too long, Joe? Are you so basted in savory McCain barbecue sauce, Joe, that your candidate's cluelessness has, by some form of dry rub osmosis, infected your already shovel-shaped view of this global disaster?

Soundbytes and nonspecifics. Yessir. That's just what (and I repeat) the worst financial crisis in a century deserves. Soundbytes and nonspecifics like, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." Heckuva job. Your candidate is a total doof when it comes to the economy, Joe. Admit it.

So then, with the addition of Newsweek's very serious Jon Meacham, the very serious conversation evolved into concern-trolling about the polls. Why, Scarborough wondered, is Senator Obama not way ahead of McCain in the polls? Why is the race so tight?

Hmm. I can't imagine why that is. It's not like Senator Obama's patriotism and character is being assassinated for three hours every morning on cable news -- six hours if we include the spasmodic howler monkeys on FOX & Friends. I can't imagine why the polls are so close when Joe Scarborough is helping his Republican allies to once again turn this critical national debate into another blind recitation of Lee Greenwood lyrics.

Why are the polls so close? Not only do around 25 percent of Americans watch FOX News Channel on a regular basis, but, from coast to coast, there are more than a thousand far-right talk radio stations occupied by shows that make Morning Joe sound like an Olbermann Special Comment. And 17 percent of Americans are glued to it at work and in their cars. Talkers like Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Bill Bennett and Glenn Beck broadcast on your public air around the clock. Non-stop. Unrelenting. Only interrupted by Accu-weather and traffic. Free to anyone with an AM radio.

I don't know if you've dared to listen to far-right talk radio lately, but I can assure you that they're not ignoring Senator Obama -- or his family. Put it this way: if you only got your news and opinions from talk radio, you'd probably believe that Senator Obama is some kind of foreign-born baby-killing Manchurian Candidate terrorist -- if not a sexist uppity black man who, if he loses in November, will incite race riots in every city.

Last night, Keith Olbermann reported that convicted Watergate burglar and radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy continues to insist that Senator Obama was born in Kenya and that his birth certificate is a forgery. Lies. Debunked months ago by numerous nonpartisan experts.

Sean Hannity continues to beat the Reverend Wright and William Ayers drums every chance he gets while making wild claims that Senator Obama is an anti-white bigot.

Alleged sex-tourist Rush Limbaugh, whose show is carried in almost every American city, is routinely accusing Senator Obama of infanticide and referring to him as a "little black man-child," clearly stopping short of blurting out the name "Sambo," thus indicating that the drugs seem to have left intact a shred of discretion in Limbaugh's otherwise melty cheese brain.

And that's just three of the more popular hosts out of hundreds more. There's Mike Gallagher, Lars Larson, Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley, Mike Savage, Dennis Prager, Neil Boortz, Bill Hussein Cunningham -- the list goes on and on. Nothing is out of bounds. Devoid of shame and accountability. Inventing its own stories and spreading lies in soundbyte chunks easily passed along via listeners to non-listener friends and family.

We too-often overlook the influence of far-right talk radio given the overproduced, groomed-monkeys on far-right cable news shows. So radio talkers too often operate with impunity and a dangerous lack of watchdogging despite their market saturation -- their menacing ubiquity. Consequently, concern-trolls like Joe Scarborough and Jon Meacham can go on television and thump their chests -- questioning why-God-why have the Democrats only won three of the last ten presidential elections?! What's wrong with these foreign-sounding, smarty-pants Democrats who, as Meacham mentioned today, are incapable of "speaking American."

Could it be -- I don't know, just a hunch -- that the opinions of perhaps a third of all Americans are shaped by FOX News Channel, cable news shows like Morning Joe and, especially, far-right talk radio? Could it be that the lies and blind-patriotism of these far-right propagandists are painting an historic, brilliant, accomplished, patriotic presidential candidate as some kind of Bin Laden meets Farrakhan chimera? 24 hours a day? In every town in the Union? Distracting Americans from this economic crisis and skewing their priorities -- making pocketbook issues seem less important than bullshit lies. And political hacks still wonder why half of Americans vote against their financial interests every two years. Joe Scarborough still wonders out loud why Senator Obama isn't 20 points ahead in the polls.

Riddle me this, Joe. Given the ideological landscape of cable news, talk radio and the nefarious lie-based caricature therein of Obama as a black-power, fetus-crushing Muslim terrorist, why isn't John McCain 20 points ahead in polls?

Monday, September 15, 2008


Sad update: Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright Dies at 65. A week of loss. I don't know how they are related but there seems to be a spiritual crisis going on in America — as evidenced by the loss of Lehman Brothers, one of our oldest investment banks — loss of lives in the L.A. Metro train crash and Hurricane Ike, and the loss of David Foster Wallace — one of our brightest literary lights.

Tectonic' Market Shift as Lehman Fails, Merrill Sold

We can and will rebuild America. We are in a crisis brought on by greed, Mother Nature and human error. But I believe this is the most important time in our lives to come together and realize we are all ONE. No one can do it alone; we were never meant to. We can't just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps without help. This is a hard lesson in cooperation, but we will survive these strange times and not only thrive, but transcend these "regressive" forces. Pray for those who lost loved ones in the hurricanes and Los Angeles Metro train collisions. It's the perfect time to build a better, stronger, more compassionate United States of America.


"Barn burned down, but now I can see the moon."

Don't panic. Fear is "False Evidence Appearing Real." We have so much in this country. What if we simplify our lives and quiet the nagging desires for more? Instead of economic growth, why not economic stability? Sometimes you have to hit bottom to really find out what you're made of. Maybe this financial crisis will cause us to really focus on creating the new green industries that will save our jobs and our environment. Despite appearances, good is winning and this time in our history is actually the best time for us to regroup, rebuild, reconnect and learn some spiritual lessons in helping each other. Let's look up, not down, and embrace the new enlightenment which is coming in with a bang, not a whimper.

Though trickle-down Reaganomics is clearly the cause of our economic woes, there is no need to panic over the so-called 'recession.' Everything that is happening is simply showing us that predatory lending and greed-based corporatism has got to end. Capitalism run amuck has run amuck. For many years I've seen this coming -- in the obsessive advertising products we don't need and creating industries out of our insecurities. The outsourcing and 'buy, buy, buy' mentality is what needs to be changed. We will create green industries at home. We will become more conscious of those in need. We all need to simplify and take care of each other. This morning I had a very calm feeling about the stock market and the sub-prime catastrophes. People who panicked, sold and lost. Those who were not ruled by false evidence appearing real (fear) were fine. I almost sold my stock, then meditated, and decided to sit still. My stock went up. Americans are powerfully resilient, industrious and innovative. Fearmongering will not take hold here. Obviously we cannot sustain a consumer society without bringing manufacturing jobs back here, but we should open our minds to embrace the train that has already left the station: globalization. There is no turning back, so we better love our neighbors as ourselves. Including some of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is an amazing place. Do not be in fear of "the other." Anyway, when you keep your heart on the spiritual values of life —— love, charity, truth, empathy, generosity — you really know what's important. My family could live in a one bedroom shack and still be happy because we finally have our values in the right place: love, friendships, family... and dogs.

Something Good Always Comes of Bad

Even the severed branch 
grows again.

And the sunken moon

Wise men who know this

Are not troubled in adversity.
Please contribute your thoughts on our economy and tell us what you think will happen next. Will the Fed cut interest rates? What is the best idea for the American economy? Create new "green" jobs? Drop prices? Force oil barons to share profits/ How can we survive these difficult times, and what is the solution? I have a utopian solution and my optimism may annoy some of you, but if you can think outside the box and take a brave leap in your thinking you will see a silver lining here. Our vets will be coming home from Iraq with wounds to heal. We will need to support over 25,000 Iraq vets for lifetime disabilities. We will need to treat them for post traumatic stress syndrome as well. FEMA will need to help the hurricane victims. The Fed should be bailing out the homeowners who were victims of predatory lending practices — instead of bailing out only Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Bear Sterns. Please leave your comments here.


There are certain laws in the universe that we all believe in. The law of gravity comes to mind. We all know that the law of gravity exists. However, we cannot see it, touch it, or sense it. We just believe and it is true. The same is true for electricity. We know what it does, but does anyone know what it is or how it works? What if there was a law that would bring you everything in the world that you wanted? There is, it is called the law of attraction, and it is at the basis of this new movement called “spiritual marketing.

The law of attraction states that we attract everything in our life. Everything that we are, everything that we have, and everything that we do is a result of what we believe. Our thoughts are the most powerful force in the universe. Can you imagine controlling your thoughts and in controlling your thoughts you are able to attract everything that you always wanted in your life? I know it sounds too good to be true, but think of this. How many thoughts do you have each day? How many are positive? How many are negative? Whatever you focus on you attract. If you focus on what you don’t have, you are focusing on lack and things will never change. If you focus on the negative, you will bring about negative results. We all have the power to choose our thoughts, and in that power lays the potential to be, do, and have everything you’ve always wanted. The law of attraction and spiritual marketing go hand in hand, and I can say that I’ve experienced it firsthand.

What Does This Have To Do With My Business?
So you’re probably saying, okay, I believe in the law of attraction –but how will this help me in my business and personal relationships? Did you know that when you are meeting with a prospect or
client they are influenced not by what you say, or even how you say it but by your presence and the energy you send out?I couldn’t believe it either. People are influenced by your words only 7%; by your tone of voice 38%; and by your energy and the way you conduct yourself and believe in yourself 55%! Isn’t that amazing? We all try to come up with the correct words or the correct presentation and even try to match the tone of voice of the person we are talking to. The real power is in your belief, how you believe in yourself, the outcome that you expect to happen and the energy behind your presence.
Materialism and greed which has become a run-away epidemic in the contemporary capitalist world in general, and in the U.S. in particular, is the root of the problem. Once again, the responsibility is on ordinary citizens to stand up and talk back to the politicians in both parties, and to do so in a way that demands a new set of values to run our economy, so that materialism and selfishness is put on the defensive and caring for each other becomes the central motif. It is only when some serious political leaders are willing to make that the center of their campaign, to demand that love, generosity and caring for others is the shaping force determining their policies, that the American people will be able to take that part of their consciousnss that wants such a world but believes it impossible, and finally transcend their fears and act on their highest desires rather than sinking into the other fearful part of their consiousness that leads them to seek magical solutions in repression and denial of much of what they know about the failures of the economy and of our foreign policy.

--Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine and chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives.


NEW YORK (AP) — The literary world is in grief for David Foster Wallace, an author of seemingly unstoppable curiosity, imagination and ambition who apparently killed himself last week. Readers are seeking out his work, including his 1,000-page novel "Infinite Jest" and the essay collection "Consider the Lobster." Published in 1996, "Infinite Jest" cemented Wallace's reputation as a major American literary figure. The 1,000-plus-page tome, praised for its complexity and dark wit, topped many best-of lists. Time Magazine named "Infinite Jest" in its issue of the "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005." Wallace received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation in 1997.

Wallace, who wrote with an explosive, ironic, but deeply serious passion about subjects ranging from tennis and politics to mathematics and cruise ships, was found dead by his wife in his home Friday night, according to the Claremont, Calif., police department. The 46-year-old author apparently hanged himself.

"He was the best of our generation, and his death is a loss beyond describing," Richard Powers, winner of the National Book Award in 2006 for the novel "The Echo Maker," told The Associated Press on Sunday.

"I am so sad — stunned — it reminds us all of how fragile we are, and how close at hand the darkness is," said fellow author A.M. Homes, whose books include the novel "The End of Alice" and "The Mistress's Daughter," a memoir. "He was a wonderful writer, a generous friend, and a singular talent."

For incredible analysis of the Sarah Palin-Charlie Gibson interviews please tune in to The Basham and Cornell Show Radio We broadcast live from Las Vegas weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM and we are simulcast worldwide on the web. All our interviews are in the "Audio Archives" and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Radio If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed Pat Buchanan, Rep. Robert Wexler, John & Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich, John Dean, Bill Press, NBC Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv Martin Fletcher, Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Valerie Plame, Christine Pelosi, Dahr Jamail, Senators Mike Gravel, Byron Dorgan and more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008




There are no words to describe how under-qualified and BAD a choice this woman is.
and how bad John McCain's whacked judgment was that he would actually hire this woman.

Her record is overwhelmingly mixed in Alaska. In a time when the state is having a boom because of the oil industry.

So stop with how popular she is...she is popular because of huge oil windfalls affording the oil companies being okay with getting taxed more and the return flowing into her state.

This is not the local Town Board Chair election!!!!

This is the person who should known and have known the Bush Doctrine and all of that recent history...and the details of Israel...and known what answering like that about Israel does to our job in the middle east peace process...and how it complicates it...

This is ridiculous. That woman you saw last night really think she should be deciding if we go to war or deciding whether "nucular" missiles should be launched or American commercial jetliners should be be shot down over NYC

Gov Palin what if it were a Russian commercial airliner? or British? or Pakistani? Would you know the ramifications of such a choice?

You all should be feeling nauseous from that interview last night.

Absolutely ridiculous that that person on that interview ...would be close to any position of leadership...never mind the Leader of the freakin free world... like was said before...this is not some Disney movie.

Jesu$ how stupid can we be for a third time."
Posted by: dl | Sep 12, 2008 9:01:26 AMComment on ABC Newt Gingrich article:

SPECIAL: According to Pat Buchanan, Sarah Palin was coached by Randy Scheunemann, McCain's lobbyist and campaign adviser who campaigned for the Iraq War and the recent Georgia crisis, in her interview with Charlie Gibson. She was obviously coached to repeatedly say "We cannot second guess Israel if they want to bomb Iran" (paraphrase) She repeated one answer like robot. This is frightening. She is being briefed with key words and is already a tool of the neocons. Pat Buchanan is more worried. He thinks "this is the real Sarah Palin."

Whatever the case, it became clear on Friday that there was a general consensus among observers: Palin failed to present herself as the strong leader many hoped she would be. On the other hand, she did not ‘flunk’ the test either. Gibson, most agree, purposefully tried to corner the Republican running mate. Although Palin did not deal with this as well as someone in her position should, she did not entirely allow Gibson to blow her away either. She made the points she wanted to make - a hawkish politician, believing Islamic extremists to pose a serious threat to America - and let the conservative base hear what it wanted to hear.

Her performance will, it seems likely, bring an end to Palinmania in so far that voters have now also seen her weaknesses at display. She was shortly presented as a political genius, single-handedly able to crush Barack Obama. The interview put her solidly back on earth.

In the meantime, her nomination has achieved what it wanted to achieve in the short run; two weeks of positive coverage, and a significant boost in the polls for John McCain. It is now up to him to win the battle with Obama.

Today, September 11, we have a day of peace and reflection. This is a memory day and we all need to go within, quiet ourselves, stop hating, stop fighting and stop harboring revenge for our "enemies." I honestly believe our biggest enemy is within. We have to consider that we, the people, are the only ones that can really destroy ourselves. A divided country will not stand.

For John McCain to use the slogan "Country First" without acknowledging that our country is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans — makes me think he is talking about country music first. What country is he talking about? Is he only referring to the America that loves war and guns? Are these the only real, valuable Americans in his eyes? I still cannot understand how a true Christian can think guns are even an option! Jesus was the Prince of Peace. But these gun-loving, Bible-toting, Republican Christians have completely thrown Christ away. They have left out love, the only thing Christ ever cared about. He commanded us to love one another — and to love our enemies as ourselves. He blessed the Peacemakers, not the warmongers. The number one law is love.

In a recent speech, John McCain said he was the one who knew how to get Osama Bin Laden. He implied he had inside information and was the ONLY one who knew how to get Bin Laden. The implied threat was "If you vote for me I will go get Bin Laden." As Keith Olbermann questioned, "Does this mean McCain won't go get Osama Bin Laden unless he wins the election?" How is this putting country first? This sounds like putting the Republican party first. Putting SELF first. But it is by "self-forgetting" that one finds.

If you really put your country first, you seek first to understand rather than be understood. You reach out to your fellow Americans, the ones Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and Dick Cheney constantly bash and systematically destroy by using what they consider the dirtiest word in the English language: "Liberal." You don't lie, slander and smear your fellow American's good name by calling him a "pervert" for wanting to teach kindergardeners about how to say NO to sex predators.

As I said on our radio show this morning, being kept in fear for 7 years is the exact objective of terrorism. Bush, Cheney and McCain have kept us in fear, the way terrorists would — as a deliberate method of retaining power. While America implodes from within — economically and physically (our infrastructure, schools, hospitals, health care system, banks, military and cities left in despair like New Orleans) this is a form of terrorism they helped to create. Do you feel safer?
God Bless America - love, Lydia ...September 11, 2008 I am 14 years sober!

Sean Hannity, who just got a 100 million dollar deal from Clear Channel, shows how fair and balanced he is. And honest.


Multimillionaire Sean Hannity proved last night (9/10/08) on Hannity & Colmes he’s not just a loudmouthed blowhard but seriously out of touch with everyday Americans. As author and economist Robert Kuttner politely tried to discuss the economic challenges Barack Obama would face as president, Hannity had a bullyboy meltdown at the suggestion that the economy is in trouble and that ordinary Americans are in dire economic straits. But Kuttner kept his cool and refused to be intimidated. He challenged Hannity with comebacks like, “I don’t spew any goddamn line... Do you want to deny (the economy’s in dire straits), you fool?” He’s our latest top dog. With video.

The interview started out pleasantly with Alan Colmes probing the thesis of Kuttner's new book, Obama's Challenge, that Obama will need to be a “transformative” president in order to effectively address American’s economic woes. “The economy is in such dire straits for most people,” Kuttner said.

Kuttner continued, “If people vote on whether Sarah Palin is better at shooting a moose, the Democrats are toast. And if Obama and Biden can bring the election back to the fact that the Republicans have had their shot at experimenting with letting Wall Street go nuts and it’s really harmed ordinary people, then the election turns on the economy and the Democrats win. So this is a fight about whether the election is about culture or about pocketbook issues.”

Kuttner thinks there is a narrative Democrats should use, “a narrative of the ordinary, hard-working family just getting the short end of the stick. Everything from subprime to health insurance to your pension blowing up, of your job not being secure.” He added, “And that’s a narrative that affects ordinary people. If that narrative is persuasive, the Democrats win.”

Apparently, that was just too much for Hannity’s sensitive widdle feewings. But with Hannity, sensitivity is always a one-way street. He welcomed the guest by beginning his portion of the interview by saying bombastically, “Oh, stop it. Oh, stop it. This is garbage you’re spewing here.”

Monday, September 08, 2008


John McCain, who voted against health care for low-income children, could not have sunk lower than to accuse Obama of calling Palin a pig. No functioning adult with actual brain cells could EVER believe Obama would publicly call anyone a pig. The phony outrage makes McCain and Republicans in general look like idiots. Hateful idiots. These people are the opposite of good American "patriots." They are smear merchants as were the "Swift Boat veterans who lied to smear John Kerry's heroism. McCain either has a screw loose or he is comfortable with lying. Both McCain and Palin have been taking the low road since the convention.

Okay, I stand corrected. Thank you Freedom Fan for bringing to my attention that Sarah Palin actually increased funding for Special needs kids, and did not cut funding, as Soledad O'Brien and several mainstream news sources reported.

BUT... PALIN DID SLASH FUNDING FOR TEEN MOMS AND SENIORS. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote in her line-item veto changes by hand in this copy of a 2008 spending bill obtained by The Washington Post.

ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live. By Paul Kane. see more at

BUT... PALIN should be in hot water for taking the maximum allowed per diem for travel expenses for 300 evenings spent at home, in her own house 45 minutes away from the governor's office.

And It is now thoroughly documented that Sarah Palin supported the $398 million "Bridge to Nowhere" when she ran for Governor in 2006, even though Congress cancelled the earmark in 2005.

She only opposed it in September 2007 after her final efforts to get $329 million more from Congress failed. Yet she kept the partial funding from Congress!

So when Palin repeatedly says "I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere," she is repeatedly lying.

PALIN'S LIES OF OMISSION: At a campaign rally, John McCain extolled his running mate's virtue by cheering, "And she sold a plane on ebay! For a profit!" Palin stood by his side and smiled, affirming this was true.

All she had to do was correct McCain on this misinformation. The plane was not sold on ebay, and it was not sold for a profit, but for a $700,000 loss! While it's true she put the plane on ebay initially, there were no buyers. It was sold to a private investor for 2.1 million — a 700,000 drop in the 2.7 million value and asking price.

An honest person — a person who cares about the American people, about integrity and about transparency — especially in these volatile times of mistrust of public officials — would have gone out of her way to correct McCain! I can't believe she just sat there, letting everyone believe this untruth. One incident such as this may not seem so bad. Maybe the details are not as important as the message that she sold a luxury private plane for all the right reasons. But what's suspicious is that there's a pattern here. She failed to correct the false story about the Bridge to Nowhere -- and is using it in a campaign ad. How many other untruths, white lies, outright lies and coverups has she engaged in? The devil is in the details. She can't just gloss over this stuff. And her arrogance in not humbling herself to correct ANY misstatement or untruth — no matter how small — is very telling of her character. My first impression of Sarah Palin was that of an opportunist who will eat her young to get ahead —  someone who craves the spotlight.

Palin also claims she fought against the "Bride to Nowhere" when in fact, she campaigned on this issue, for the bridge, and took corporate lobbyist campaign contributions while supporting Ted Stevens, the Senator indicted for corruption in this case.

From Political Animal: THAT'S NOT WAFFLING YOU CAN BELIEVE IN.... One of the more foolish talking points the McCain campaign has come up with in defense of Sarah Palin is the notion that she's clashed with Alaskan Sen. Ted Stevens (R). As the story goes, Stevens is corrupt (he's currently under indictment), and Palin's willingness to stand up to him, despite his power in Alaska, is proof of her strong willed independence.

A week ago, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN, "Gov. Palin took on Ted Stevens. If she can take him on, she can take on the Russians. Heh." McCain made similar comments on Sunday.

It's all very strange. For one thing, Palin hasn't "taken on" Stevens; she actually helped run Stevens' 527 group. For another, far from rebuking Stevens, Palin hasn't ruled out voting for him, despite the felony charges he's facing.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How My 7-Year-Old Learned About Pre-Marital Sex from John McCain

Young woman at RNC: "If Sarah Palin believed more in sex education and teaching more than just abstinence-only, it might have been a better choice for her,” she said. “If people aren’t educated about what their options are, where does that leave them?”

But the hypocrisy of so-called Conservatives in touting this circumstance as proof of family values, of conservative values, really roils me. The AP recently reported that John McCain not only has opposed federal spending on teen-prevention programs, he has also voted to oppose education and federal spending on contraceptives. Palin's own record shows the same at the state level. The idea that once a teenager, deprived of an education which teaches contraception, finds herself pregnant...

How My 7-Year-Old Learned About Pre-Marital Sex from John McCain
By Karen Dolan, AlterNet September 3, 2008.

I wholly believe in educating my child about contraception. But given that he is 7, I could have waited a few years for that particular talk.

Ok, yes, you can credit or fault me as a mother for allowing my 7- year-old to suffer under the blissful ignorance of believing that one needs to be married before one gets pregnant. Or you can credit or fault me for answering my child's matter-of-fact questions about how babies are made even though he is only 7. But all credit and fault goes to John McCain and Sarah Palin for exposing all children who have a TV to the news that Palin's unmarried teenage daughter is indeed 5 months pregnant.

Seeing this "Breaking News" on TV when trying to catch news of Gustav and the Republican Convention, my son immediately asks me "But how can she be pregnant if she isn't married?" and "Does a girl get pregnant every time she has sex with a boy?" Thus ensues the revelation that sex is possible before marriage, and how condoms and birth control pills can prevent pregnancy and HIV. I wholly believe in educating my child about contraception. But given that he is indeed 7, I could easily have waited another year or two for him to be older for that particular conversation. I sorta liked the sweet illusion of the "sex is for grown-ups in committed relationships" thing ... don't most parents of elementary-age children?

I don't judge the Palins for having a pregnant teen daughter. I do think that it reinforces the need for frank sex education and the distribution of condoms in middle and high schools. I do think that the "Breaking News" of this unfortunate pregnancy points to the need of options for teens beyond the highly un-contraceptive "promise ring" that is the rage with certain Christian families these days, promising God the purity of their children until after that ring is replaced with a wedding ring. But I don't judge the child or her parents for the current situation, all too familiar to many families nation-wide. Each year a million girls under the age of 20 become pregnant in the U.S.

But the hypocrisy of so-called Conservatives in touting this circumstance as proof of family values, of conservative values, really roils me. The AP recently reported that John McCain not only has opposed federal spending on teen-prevention programs, he has also voted to oppose education and federal spending on contraceptives. Palin's own record shows the same at the state level. The idea that once a teenager, deprived of an education which teaches contraception, finds herself pregnant, is then expected to allow the embryo to come to term, to then either give it away or marry the father regardless of who, what or how he is doesn't rank among my values. To celebrate such practices as values to which we all should aspire, strikes me as worse than Palin's corruption charges and her petition to sue the government in order to keep polar bears off of the endangered species list.

How many times have we heard the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly decrying the flash of a bra-strap from 15-year-old Mylie Cyrus or the danger that sex education in Middle School will expose our children to too much information about sex too young? Well, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, I just wanted you to know that this particular mother would have preferred to wait a bit before having to explain to my 7-year-old that a latex covering over a penis should be worn to keep the semen from fertilizing the egg during sex if teenagers, such as the one broadcast all over the news yesterday, decide to engage in such activity before being mature enough to actually parent a baby.

In a way though, McCain and Palin have done us all a favor as they now have removed the chastity belt which hampered honest discussion on sex education in schools and realistic, effective ways to prevent teen-pregnancy and STDs. Maybe my 7-year-old could have held on a bit longer to his innocent notions of Trojans simply as Greek Warriors; but the McCain/Palin ticket has only reinforced the idea that pre-pubescent children and teens here and around the globe deserve nothing less than a government-provided box of the wonderful little things, complete with classroom sex-education courses. Now we're talking values.

For the spiritual solution to every problem in life please check out our other blog: at The Peacemakers * The Light of Truth

Lydia Cornell on CSPAN's Book-TV

Thursday, September 04, 2008


From a reader on Andrew Sullivan's blog
Good God! I watched that video of Palin at her church through twice. The Assemblies of God are Pentecostals, of course, the real "holy rollers"--ecstatic experience of the Godhead in your own body, rolling in the aisles, talking in tongues. When I got some exposure to them, they were extremely conservative and strict (no dancing, no lipstick, no short skirts) but Palin is evidence of how they've mainstreamed themselves.

I wonder if the average reader would hear the references she makes and understand them? Master's commissions--this is a program they run to evangelize non-believers, in Alaska especially native Americans. Notice that our foreign and defense policy is simply God-given - not to be weighed, studied, deliberated, only to be implemented as we're taught by our betters. And notice that her political program - build a sports complex, a pipeline, change a tax bill, all likewise simply becomes a matter of religion.

For twenty years the most hardcore Christianists have been held in the background. Now one of them is the vice presidential nominee next to a man who's 72 and a repeated cancer survivor. This is mortifying. How could John McCain do this to our country!


From Andew Sullivan's blog a reader writes:
Immediately after (McCain's) speech, I remarked to my wife that the tone of it was of a person looking back on a career, not beginning a new one.

Andrew Sullivan: What makes me sad is how so many young people have no idea any more what conservatism could mean if it were true to itself. (I gave it my best shot in my book, "The Conservative Soul.") But the corruption of this party is so deep - morally, ethically, philosophically - McCain can't do it.

I'm sure conservatism will one day recover - because it is right about the main issues: government needs to be kept in its place, taxes should be low and budgets balanced, individuals should be able to pursue their dreams as free of government control as possible, families do matter and need to be free from government interference, free markets and enterprise are the only guarantees of prosperity, moral choices - and their consequences - should be faced by the individual responsibly, and we have to be strong in our defense and prudent in foreign policy. This is the conservatism I still believe in. Deep down, I'm sure McCain does too. But it will only come from the ashes of this fundamentalist, mean-spirited, parochial, arrogant, big-spending, irresponsible shambles of a party. We have to repudiate the party of Rove and Abramoff and Romney and Dobson and Cheney and Bush II.

Burn it down and start over.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The “family values” party has an adulterer on the top of the ticket who dumped his wife because she was disfigured in a car accident. The new wife was a drug addict who stole those drugs from a charity she ran. She fired the whistle blower. Now the vicious veep runing mate has more skeletons in her closet than a “bodies” exhibit. No substance, attack, attack, attack. Watch out glass house owners! Wasn’t this the party that viciously attacked a Vietnam Vet Hero in the last election?Comment from JoeG on SuziQ's blog

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote in her line-item veto changes by hand in this copy of a 2008 spending bill obtained by The Washington Post.

By Paul Kane
ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

According to Passage House's web site, its purpose is to provide "young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."

Palin's own daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant and has plans to wed.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family," Palin said in a statement released by the McCain campaign. "We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy, as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."

Earlier today the Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, opposed funding to prevent teen pregnancies, a position that Palin also took as governor. "The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support," she wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates.

Reporters asked McCain in November 2007 whether he supported grants for sex education in the United States, whether such programs should include directions for using contraceptives and whether he supports President Bush's policy of promoting abstinence.

"Ahhh, I think I support the president's policy," McCain said.

Since Sarah Palin didn't write her own speech, of course, we can't wait to hear her debate foreign policy with Biden...

Putting Words in Palin's Mouth by Hiatt (Washington

There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too "masculine." While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee's speech before knowing who the nominee would be.

Even staunch right-winger Dr. Laura Schlesinger says she is "extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party...I’m stunned - couldn’t the Republican Party find one competent female with adult children to run for Vice President with McCain?... But really, what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?

I am haunted by the family pictures of the Palins during political photo-ops, showing the eldest daughter, now pregnant with her own child, cuddling the family’s newborn. When Mom and Dad both work full-time (no matter how many folks get involved with the children), it becomes a somewhat chaotic situation. Certainly, if a child becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital, and you’re on the hotline with both Israel and Iran as nuclear tempers are flaring, where’s your attention going to be? Where should your attention be? Well, once you put your hand on the Bible and make that oath, your attention has to be with the government of the United States of America. (From

The Sarah Palin Saga Only Gets Worse
by Robert A. Kezelis

When Vegas starts posting odds on when a VP nominee's name will be withdrawn from consideration, you know that something is brewing.

It turns out that there's more fire than smoke. The questions keep growing, so let's keep it simple, who, how, why, when, and where.

Even I hate to admit it, especially after Hillary joined them, there is a hidden conspiracy that stands against America, our constitution, our future, our freedoms. It is a Christian cabal. A D.C. centered group of rich, insane, power-hungry, conspirators who wish to control the destiny of this country in their direction. It is not a direction of which our founding fathers would have approved. It is, more than any other danger that our country faces, our most evil enemy. It also selected Sarah Palin. They met recently, vetted her, approved of her religious fascism, and promoted, then sold her to John McCain.

The Nation, one of the finest independent papers in this country, has the story:

The members of the Council for National Policy are the hidden hand behind McCain's Palin pick. With her selection, the Republican nominee is suddenly -- and unexpectedly -- assured of the support of a movement that once opposed his candidacy with all its might. Case in point: while Dobson once said he could "never" vote for McCain, he issued a statement last week hailing Palin as an "outstanding" choice. If Dobson's enthusiasm for Palin is any indication, he may soon emerge from his bunker in Colorado Springs to endorse McCain, providing the Republican nominee with the backing of the Christian right's single most influential figure.

John McCain has long ceased being his own person. From 2000 to today, the differences between McCain the Maverick, to McCain the NeoConMan are striking. Parsing the difference in behavior and personality is difficult. Some, including me, have suggested that he suffers from Senile Dementia. Others simply call McCain a political whore, willing to do and say anything to get elected. Still others simply say that he is a convenient politician. What works is convenient.

No matter the cause, no matter the reason, or combination thereof, McCain has sold his campaign to the Rovian club he recently collected, and then sold his soul to the ultra far right fringe of Christian theology. The Council chose Sarah Palin for him, in exchange for their support.

Do not believe the polls. The idea that 4 more yrs of Bush would ever receive 42% support in a national election is ridiculous. Internal polling shows a bigger lead for Obama, despite a serious impact of racism.

Sarah Palin, like any former beauty queen, is there simply to be a distraction. Avoid the hard questions, confuse and confound the enemy, and always change the discussion and the topic. The Rovian leaders within the McCain camp know how bad the future is, and this bowing to the ultra-religious-dominionist Cabal is a brilliant, timely, calculated move. On one hand, it throws those insane nuts a handful of crumbs. When she is replaced, (and rest assured, she will be), they will have been pacified. On the other hand, if she somehow manages to survive what is looking more and more like a serious vetting by serious investigators, she pretty much locks up the fundie vote for McCain. Despite being a Creationist nutcase herself.

When did the fall of Sarah start? Early, often, consistently.
When she demanded what amounted to a loyalty oath from her tiny town's employees, she showed her true colors. When she fired capable people simply because they did not kiss her feet sufficiently, she laid out her future behavior. When she headed a Senator Stevens 527 group, pushing for his re-election, despite serious ethical charges building up, she showed how corrupt she herself is. When she stood up next to Ted, pledging her support, she confirmed it. And when she scrubbed her website of those events, she showed that her campaign has a high school student on board with some smarts.

Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.

I just hope whoever cleansed her website isn't impregnated at the age of 16. That might impact Sarah's family values positions.

Oh, wait. That already happened.

Where will America find out about the true Sarah? Certainly not on cable news. Never on your local borecasts. Not in your local newspaper, especially when too many subscribe to the AP service, a failing, politicized, dysfunctional group that would rather protect the status quo than to fix their growing Fournier problem. WaPo tries. NYT tries. Even some western papers are investigating and reporting. But Gustav visuals are simply too "gnus-worthy"

Where will you learn about the real Sarah Palin? The Netroots. Be grateful they exist. It might just save this country yet.


Obama has transcended petty partisan politics by uniting us all in a speech that was severe, hard-hitting and transformational. He is a true leader and not a "celebrity." This election is about US: you and me, patriotic Americans joining together against the dark forces of corporate greed, cronyism, oil and war profiteering. Obama is a symbol of the American Dream and of our enlightened nature as a people. No matter what devious political maneuvering McCain and the Rovebots engage in — the TRUTH will win, for the truth has a liberal bias. Obama simply told the truth with strength, passion, empathy and honesty. - Lydia

For the spiritual solution to every problem in life please check out our other blog: at The Peacemakers * The Light of Truth

Lydia Cornell on CSPAN's Book-TV